What’s more American than honoring Independence Day by competitively stuffing as many hot dogs as possible down your gullet for 10 minutes while tens of thousands in attendance cheer you on?
Not much. And for the third year in a row, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest — held on the Fourth of July at Coney Island in Brooklyn — is hosting one of its regional qualifying rounds in Cincinnati, giving our most ravenous male and female frankfurter fanatics an opportunity to earn a seat at the world’s most renowned international hot dog-eating contest.
The regional competition takes place May 17 at Great American Ball Park — appropriate given the time-honored association between hot dogs and America’s pastime — after the completion of a Reds vs. Dodgers game, scheduled to begin at 7:10 p.m.
Expect to wait at least three hours after the opening pitch for the voracious feeding frenzy to begin.
“The launch of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest circuit means that we are on our way toward the most exciting day of the year: July 4,” said Phil McCann, senior director of marketing of Nathan’s Famous, in a release. “We are seeking new talent in Cincinnati to represent our nation on the most patriotic day of the year.”
Registration to enter into the contest has already officially closed because the maximum number of participants has been reached. But the Coney Island championship promises to be a real dog-eat-dog challenge for whomever represents the Queen City during ESPN’s nationally televised broadcast of the battle for gastrointestinal superiority.
Regional talent will go against the competition’s reigning male champion, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, who has won 11 times and owns the world record of 74 hot dogs and buns consumed in 10 minutes, and Nathan’s reigning female champ, Miki Sudo, who has won the bejeweled prize belt for five straight years and has a personal best of 41 hot dogs and buns consumed in 10 minutes.
Last year’s regional winners were Derek Jacobs, who also won in 2017, and Holly Titus, each scarfing down 25.5 and 8.5 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, respectively.
Even if you can't compete, it's well worth watching to see if anyone barfs.
For more, visit majorleagueeating.com.